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Rare-Earth Free Electric Motor

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering are working with Powdermet, Inc., a nanomaterials and advanced materials research and development company, to develop a motor that uses abundant metals versus rare earth metals.

Currently, electric motors for EVs rely on rare-earth metals for permanent magnets. Rare-earth metals, as their name implies, are limited resources on earth and are not the most environmentally friendly. The project received $200,000 for funding from the US Department of Energy, permitting Powdermet to commercialize MnBI-based magnetic materials.  

rivian r1t snow

Everything is Bigger in Texas, Including Incentives

Fort Worth, Texas is negotiating with Rivian to set up a new plant. Part of the agreement includes a 2,000-acre site where 12 million sq. ft. of buildings will be located. The site would be 12 miles from downtown Fort Worth and near Interstate 20. If Rivian comes to Fort Worth, the company will bring 1,875 jobs by the end of 2025 and over 2,500 jobs by 2027, with a minimum average annual salary of $56,000.

Fort Worth is offering tax abatements and grants that will be capped at $440,000,000 for Rivian. To further its incentives, Fort Worth is also offering a 15-year economic development grant to reduce its tax burden by 85%. Tarrant county is also providing incentives through tax abatements. Rivian would receive a 70% tax abatement for the first 10 years which would amount to $35.8 million. Enticing. 

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y

Norway is Taking Charge

Norway is taking the lead in electric vehicle sales worldwide, which may give the rest of us a glimpse of what vehicle markets can expect in future marketing trends. In 2020, all-electric cars hit a record 54% market share of Norway’s total new cars sales. Norway is also currently on track to exceed those results in 2021.

The best selling-car in Norway? The Tesla Model 3. So popular that it sold out in June and there were no new shipments in July (Norway imports all of its EVs). The good news is that the Tesla Model Y is coming to Norway. Will it top the Model 3 in sales?  

E-car charging (source: photo by Stefan Leichsenring)

Calculating Charging Costs

Calculating charging costs as a new EV owner can be confusing, but is very straightforward once you get the hang of it. Think of kilowatt-hours as your fuel tank. When looking at an EV, look at the amount of energy an electric car consumes, measured in kilowatt-hours per 100 miles. This value will tell you how much energy in kilowatt-hours a vehicle would use to travel 100 miles. Of course, your range will depend on your driving style (Lewis Hamilton vs. Hoke Colburn). 

The cost for charging at home is also an essential factor to consider when calculating expenses and varies by state. When compared to gasoline, electricity is much more stable in terms of price. The national average of costs is 13.3 cents, which is only an increase of 2 cents from a decade ago. What a consumer pays is also determined by their utility company and the plan they use. Electricity cost also rises with consumption and varies depending on the time of use.

To estimate charging costs at home, multiply your vehicle's kWh/100 miles figure by the electric rate for the time of day you'll most often be charging. A kilowatt during the peak of the day or at the end of the month will likely cost more than nighttime hours. The figure will tell you the cost per 100 miles.

Consumers must also calculate charger costs for their EV. For a Level 2 home system the national average is $200 to $1,000 and the installation cost can be $850-2,500.  Waking up to a vehicle with a full “tank” every morning is priceless. 

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